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Kwashiorkor

Deadly Diseases- part 6
by

Roxy Gardiner

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Kwashiorkor

kwashiorkor What is it? Kwashiorkor is a form of severe malnutrition that affects children living in poverty in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. It is caused by a lack of protein in the diet. Kwashiorkor stunts growth and causes children to have bloated bellies and thin arms and legs. The term "kwashiorkor" comes from a word used in Ghana that means a "disease of a baby deposed from the breast when the next one is born." Kwashiorkor usually happens when a baby is weaned from protein-rich breast milk (for any reason) and switched to protein-poor foods. In impoverished countries, protein-rich foods are difficult to acquire. Where is Kwashiorkor found? Many children in this West African village show signs of kwashiorkor. Their stomachs are bloated, their arms and legs are thin, and their skin is flaky. Kwashiorkor attacks tropical and sub tropical parts of the world because those areas in the world experience harsh weather changes disrupting the food chain. Making everyone starve and catch Kwashiorkor. What causes kwashiorkor! Kwashiorkor is caused by a diet low in protein. It can also arise due to infections, parasites, or other conditions that interfere with protein absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. It is most common in children living in areas hit by drought and famine, but it can be related to dietary changes due to milk allergies in infants, fad diets, poor nutritional education, or a chaotic home life. How to tell if you have kwashiorkor... At first, a person with kwashiorkor may: If the disease has been going on for a while, they should have symptoms like... -Bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
-Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
-Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, palpitations
-Cold and clammy skin
-High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
-Not producing any urine, or an infant who does not produce the usual amount of wet diapers
-Profuse sweating
-Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
-Respiratory or breathing problems If you or anyone else you know have experienced any of these symptoms that I have just mentioned, you can fix Kwashiorkor before it too late! Treatment of kwashiorkor depends upon its severity it may require treatment with antibiotics. Although the goal is to increase protein in the diet, rapid increases in calories and protein can be dangerous. Often, the calories are slowly increased by adding carbohydrates, sugars, and fat to the diet. Next, protein is gradually added. People who have malnutrition may have difficulty digesting the lactose in dairy products, so the enzyme lactase may be added. Vitamin and mineral supplements may also be used. -Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
-Diarrhea
-Enlarged liver
-Fatigue
-Frequent infections
-Generalized swelling
-Hair and nail changes
-Irritability
-Muscle wasting
-Skin changes, including pigment loss, red or purple patches, peeling, cracking and skin sloughing.
-Slowed growth leading to short stature
-Weight loss
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